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Viewsonic ViewPad 10
You may not remember this, but ViewSonic was at the leading edge of tablet trailblazing more than a decade ago—when the first generation of Windows XP-based slates hit the market with promise that was never quite realized.
Known as a maker of desktop displays more than anything else, ViewSonic was among the first big vendors to invest in R&D in the tablet form factor and use patterns, and, though initial efforts didn’t quite take the market by storm the company learned from those early efforts.
With its current generation of tablets, notably the ViewPad 10, ViewSonic differentiates itself in a meaningful way and a way in which we think will work for many corners of the channel if given a chance. The ViewPad 10 is a dual-boot tablet, and allows for startup into either Windows 7 or Android 2.2. Think about it: an enterprise could roll out these tablets that integrate well with Windows-legacy applications and security, and step a foot into the Android world as well.
We tested this tablet out earlier this year and really liked it. (for more, watch CRN's video review of ViewSonic's ViewPad 10 and ViewPad 7)
A few comparisons between Windows 7 and Android on the same tablet:
• Windows on this device looks crisper and has the familiar navigational framework so you don’t need to initially search all over for basic functions and files;
• Android 2.2 on this device has an easier-to-use touch-screen keyboard than Windows, and one would have to owe that to the fact that Android was written with touch-screen keyboards in mind;
• In the ViewPad 10, signing in to our lab’s WiFi was much easier in Windows than Android 2.2.
• Skype worked flawlessly in Windows 7, but on Android provided us with a message that we didn’t have enough processing power to make voice calls. (That’s the first time that ever happened to us using an Atom-based system.)
Still, accessing our Windows applications and files, and downloading and installing Android apps from the app store, all worked fine. This is huge, and a major differentiator that ViewSonic has delivered. The fact that one device will allow for access to apps and files on both platforms could serve as a major bridge to mobility for many.
The complexity of having two operating environments may be complex, but in the overall enterprise environment it means easing a migration from Windows to Android in a manner that, frankly, ViewSonic’s competitors can’t match. It’s a winner in eliminating cost and complexity in the enterprise.
As with its Android-based ViewPad 7, ViewSonic provides the ViewPad 10 with support for an SD card and two USB ports for access to additional storage.
Technical Stars: 3
Channel Stars: 4
Price: $589 for 32 GB (street)